Harvest 2023 – Oil Seed Rape

By Eat Farm Now
4th August 2023

Earlier this year many fields across the UK and Europe turned yellow as oil seed rape came into flower. July is the time when the crop is harvested for its seeds which are rich in oil (hence the name!). Rapeseed is the third largest source of vegetable oil in the world.

Oil Seed Rape is harvested using a combine harvester. It may be ‘swathed’ (cut to the ground) before this point or ‘dessicated’ (dried out) by spraying a chemical product such as glyphosate prior to harvesting.

Rapeseed meal, which is the byproduct of the crop, is often used as a high protein animal feed, especially for cattle, but also for pigs and poultry. Other uses for rapeseed include biodiesel and biomedical uses. The main use for this crop is however vegetable oil.

Oil seed rape is grown across Europe, Canada and Australia, as well as in the United States, China, India and Pakistan.

Image credit: M J Richardson (available here)